If one of your resolutions is to read more in 2017, former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has you covered. Abdul-Jabbar penned thoughtful reviews of two books on Muslim identity for The New York Times.

Abdul-Jabbar–a cultural activist, frequent guest columnist and Basketball Hall of Famer–explores how each of the two books approaches Islam and living as a Muslim in the modern world.

“Two new books about being Muslim in today’s volatile world … may help us return to those glory days when Americans weren’t so frightened and could see the world as more than just Us Versus Them,” Abdul-Jabbar says of the books.

Both Omar Saif Ghobash’s “Letters to a Young Muslim” and Ali A. Rizvi’s “The Atheist Muslim: A Journey From Religion to Reason” look to provide a greater understanding of their views about Islam, which Abdul-Jabbar introduces in the context of America’s relationship with Muslims before delving into the books’ content.

“Ghobash is not an apologist for Islam because there is no need. He argues that reason and religion can coexist because we are meant to use our intelligence to reject manipulative and myopic interpretations of the scriptures,” Abdul-Jabbar says.

“Rizvi’s specific criticisms of the Muslim orthodoxy as stated in the Quran are surgically accurate,” Abdul-Jabbar writes. “He cites various passages that are either contradictory or seemingly absurd in the modern world.”

The 69-year-old all-time leading scorer, born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., has had a prolific writing and activism career in his post-NBA life. He converted to Sunni Islam while playing ball at UCLA in the summer of 1968 before his 20-year NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

posted on 01/13/2017 by Anika Reed
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